Horror movie ‘Dead Hooker in a Trunk’ forced off a screen in Saskatoon

Marc Weisblott
National Affairs Reporter
Daily Brew

Slasher flicks aren't getting much respect from Canadian theatre chain Magic Lantern Cinemas, based on its decision not to screen three movies in Saskatoon, based on titles and posters alone.

"Dead Hooker in a Trunk," a satirical low-budget grindhouse film directed by identical Vancouver twins Jen and Sylvia Soska, had its April 22 screening, sponsored by the Dark Bridges Film Festival, cancelled by the Roxy Theatre.

An anonymous complaint cited the recent spate of missing aboriginal prostitutes in Western Canada.

The filmmakers pointed out in a Facebook note the message behind their bloody movie was misinterpreted, as the dead hooker in the title is actually treated with respect, contrary to stereotype.

Concern was also raised over the other half of that evening's double feature, "The Taint."

Posters for the American film about tainted water that turns men into misogynist monsters, were also ripped down at the Roxy.

"Simply focusing on the fact that the poster contains the words 'Kill Women' on it does not mean that the poster is telling everyone they should go out and kill all women," explained festival director John Allison, "just as the poster for 'Kill Bill' does not tell everyone to go out and kill everyone named Bill."

Allison said on the festival's website such grindhouse genre movies carry on the tradition of encouraging viewers to question their beliefs. "Dead Hooker in a Trunk," in fact, was screened at Jen and Sylvia Soska's family church.

While the Roxy was slated to host the annual Dark Bridges festival this fall, that relationship has been severed in favour of a community-owned alternative. "Dead Hooker in a Trunk" and "The Taint" will play at the Broadway Theatre next week instead.

Another critically acclaimed Canadian grindhouse film has apparently been caught in the crossfire, as the Roxy also cancelled a booking of "Hobo With a Shotgun," with the official explanation there wasn't enough public interest to bother with a second-run screening based on recent box office grosses from the Cineplex Odeon Centre Cinemas.

A reporter from the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, who was suspicion of the timing, noted  90 people on Facebook expressed a desire to attend "Hobo With a Shotgun" at the Roxy.

By contrast, just two people attended a second-run Roxy matinee of "Black Swan."

(CP Photo)